A massive wucai 'Dragons' beaker vase, fanggu, Mark and period of Wanli


Lot 3662. A massive wucai 'Dragons' beaker vase, fanggu, Mark and period of Wanli (1573-1619);  75.2 cm., 29 5/8  inEstimate 800,000 — 1,000,000 HKD (91,965 — 114,956 EUR). Lot sold 1,625,000 HKD (186,803 EUR). Photo Sotheby's.

of rectangular section, the central bulb decorated with four protruding moulded mythical beast masks bowing down, each flanked by two brightly enamelled confronting dragons leaping from waves, the rounded shoulders similarly painted with sinuous dragons, all between a tall slender neck flaring to a square lipped rim and a wide waisted trunk, each side painted with alternating ascending and descending five-clawed dragons in contrasting red, yellow, green and underglaze blue amidst colourful flower scrolls, the foot moulded with a shaped apron decorated with lingzhi sprays, one side of the rim inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character horizontal reign mark.

NoteFinely painted in rich underglaze blue and bright enamels, this vase is notable for its magnificent size. A similar vase in the Hakutsuru Art Museum, Kobe, is illustrated in Hakutsuru bijutsukan zohin zuroku [Collection in the Hakutsuru Fine Art Museum], Kyoto, 1988, pl. 129; another in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, is published in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 742; and a third vase was sold at Christie’s London, 14th December 1983, lot 479.

Vases of this type with Wanli marks and of the period are also known painted in underglaze blue, such as one from the Grandidier collection in the Musée Guimet, Paris, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics. The World’s Great Collections, vol. 7, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 81; and a pair from the collection of John Love, sold at Christie’s London, 24th May 1927, lot 215.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 07 oct. 2015, 02:30 PM